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Comment qmail and Microsoft (Score 5, Informative) 85

Yeah, you seem to want to have your cake and eat it too. Doesn't produce a lot of sympathy. Think again about how to make your software free but still want users to pay. What about keeping value-adding plugins or frontends closed and opening the core? If you open source but limit ability of people to make use of the core, what exactly do you expect to gain from such a "community"?

Still, take a look at the licence of qmail. This worked not so bad for them, and might be the right equilibrium. If you just want legalese for your scenario, take a look at Microsoft's Shared Source licences.

Comment Re:"No idea how... the brain works" (Score 4, Informative) 230

(I work in this area of research.) You are right, the paper is about just a sequence-to-sequence transformation model that learns good replies for inputs but is not actually "understanding" what is going on.

At the same time, we *are* making some headways in the "understanding" part as well, just not in this particular paper. Basically, we have ways to convert individual words to many-dimensional numerical vectors whose mathematical relations closely correspond to semantics of the words, and we are now working on building neural networks that build up such vectors even for larger pieces of text and use them for more advanced things. If anyone is interested, look up word2vec, "distributed representations" or "word embeddings" (or "compositional embeddings").

If you already know what word2vec is, take a look at

Comment Java API: Copyrighted, but hope for fair use! (Score 4, Informative) 223

TL;DR: US executive shares the appeals court opinion that APIs are copyrightable, but that does not mean the copyright is enforceable - there will be another court case that will be about if it's fair use to re-implement the (copyrighted) API.

Here is maybe the most important paragraph (italics mine):

Despite the inherently functional character of all computer code, the Copyright Act makes clear that such code can be copyrightable. Nothing about the declaring code (API declarations) at issue here materially distinguishes it from other computer code ... . Although petitioner has raised important concerns about the effects that enforcing respondent's copyright could have on software development, those concerns are better addressed through petitioner's fair-use defense, which will be considered on remand.

The brief is quite well readable (modulo the awful scribus ui), try it!

Comment Re: bye (Score 1) 531

I'm running java-based UIMA pipelines with large NLP models loaded in memory, plus some pandas datasets loaded in ipynotebooks occassionally.

I don't run 128gb because that's tricky to stuff in a laptop and I have better uses for my money at this point than buying overpriced SO-DIMMs too.

Comment Re:bye (Score 2) 531

I do use the memory, thank you very much. I just use the computer for something else than web browsing too. I do realize it's getting uncommon (and don't actually even get *that* grumpy about it, just have my different set of preferences).

When you see a guy in sibling comment complaining "In addition, I hate the extremely long time for startup and new tab creation, which is accompanied by constant disk grinding." - well, that's exactly the memory problem, which now translates to bad user experience. As you suggested: The OS swapped it out as another app needed it.

Comment Re:bye (Score 2) 531

Oh and also the fact that middle click inside website does not load URL from clipboard. It works on a favicon - except in case of verified identity SSL servers, there's no favicon.

About the tabs, frankly, for me (but clearly not just me) a more flexible paradigm which blends seamlessly the concept of tabs and bookmarks (and ideally full-text search over my "bookmarked tabs") would be awesome. I'm a pack-rat and would like to archive whole tab trees for later, see them among the other pages, but not take memory+CPU now. I think there's an actual and large market gap here.

Comment Re: paywalls are not selling out. (Score 1) 81

First, the situation is more complicated outside of math/physics/cs. E.g. in biology, getting papers is much more complicated, which has connections to computer literacy of authors, conventions in the field, and maybe also conditions of the journals.

Second, if you are an institutional researcher, there are good chances that your institution has subscription to the major places relevant for your research.

I hope it's a problem solved over time largely by natural selection. I'm much less likely to cite papers that I can't read easily.

AFAIK Elsevier's pricing structure and conditions on things like arxiv uploads is much stricter than Springer's. Not sure though.

Comment Re: Tabs vs Spaces (Score 1) 428

Ok, that makes sense. I use vim only on Linux, so I wouldn't know. Ctrl-v in normal mode is what always does this for me in terminal vim, but I guess it might interfere with clipboard shortcuts on other platforms.

(Then again, the argument sounds as that vim loses because vim has this different across platforms, while, Notepad++ wins because, well, it is not available on some platforms. In Linux desktop environments, alt+drag typically drags the window and is not passed to the application.)

Comment Re:Huge red flag about the survey (Score 1) 428

No, my point is that it's often easiest to *understand* things from a couple of examples, especially when your programming fundamentals are solid.

But even what *you* are saying is nothing bad to do, when you just need to do a quick hack - quickly. (The real burden is on deciding when a quick hack will or will not do.)

In the end, it's about whether what you create works. SO helps that happen.

Comment Re:Huge red flag about the survey (Score 1) 428

Exactly. When the concepts are already well sorted out in your head but you need to quickly get something going with an unfamiliar API, it's typically way more time-efficient to just peek at a few code snippets over ten seconds rather than plodding through a confusing API docs written by a graphomaniac with ADHD. StackOverflow is a god-send that made me immensely more productive, especially in unfamiliar programming environments.

Comment Re:Tabs vs Spaces (Score 1) 428

Really, you start with "Those days are long gone", then talk about "letter-sized printouts at 10 characters per inch"?

To me, 8 is just perfect when viewing on a computer screen, it has the perfect balance of clarity and horizontal space management. But if someone thinks it's too much, that's fine - because I'm using tabs, so they can reconfigure. This is where all the anti-tab arguers shoot themselves in the foot. There are some good arguments against tabs that make the spaces vs. tabs choice non-obvious, but seems like noone on this thread has a clue about these.

(Of course, in Python I just follow PEP and :set et, tw=4, sw=4. A whole-ecosystem convention trumps personal preferences, and Python especially (with its semantic indenting) has good reasons to abolish tabs.)

To iterate is human, to recurse, divine. -- Robert Heller